As the average house deposit now costs a first time buyer a staggering £51,905, it is no wonder buyers are searching for incentives when it comes to purchasing a new home. One couple, Charles (38) and John Hudson-Beddows (44), looked to get onto the property ladder and purchased a brand new three-bedroom end-terrace home at Barratt Homes’ Phoenix Quarter development in Dartford using the Government’s flagship Help to Buy equity loan scheme.
The couple had spent ten years renting in various commuter towns in Kent but wanted to take the next step and become homeowners. Yet with soaring property prices and increasing deposits required, Charles and John were unsure how they would ever be able to afford their own home. With the help of some advice from a property lawyer friend, they discovered Help to Buy and what it meant for them.
Charles, an Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Diocese of Southwark, says: “We had been saving as much as we could for five years, but still didn’t think that homeownership was within reach. When we found out about Help to Buy, we were delighted because we realised that we could afford to buy the perfect home for us. When we combined our savings, and additional money that I had received, we were able to pay a 5% deposit of £20,000.
“It would have been impossible to have purchased our home without Help to Buy, as the deposit would have been too high. The scheme has allowed us to have a beautiful family home to bring up our daughter Crystal (5), and we know that every penny we pay in mortgage payments is an investment in our family’s future.”
Launched in 2013, Help to Buy is the government’s equity loan scheme, through which the government lend buyers up to 20% of the cost of their new home. This allows first time buyers and those moving up the property ladder to purchase a property with just a 5% cash deposit and a mortgage on only 75% of the property value.
Natalie Perry, Director of Sales and Marketing for Barratt Homes Kent, continues: “Help to Buy has been particularly beneficial to buyers in the Kent area, with Charles and John being the 1000th Barratt Kent Help to Buy customer. This demonstrates how important homebuying incentives are in giving first time buyers a helping hand at getting onto the property ladder, and just how many homebuyers have been able to take advantage of Help to Buy in Kent. Without Help to Buy, we know that homebuying would be a challenge for some, so it is fantastic that we are able to build homes that can be purchased through the scheme. We hope that any buyers worried about the cost of homebuying seriously consider using Help to Buy.”
Charles and John previously lived in a private community but were drawn to Phoenix Quarter immediately as it offered a better quality of life for their family. With good schools in close proximity, a commute time of just 45 minutes to London for Charles, and a short distance from a local care home where John works as a manager, the benefits were undeniable.
Charles continues: “Purchasing a home is a big investment, so we wanted to get it right. Phoenix Quarter has made us so happy and has exceeded all expectations. Our new house and the development meet our needs perfectly, and we feel so at home here. There is a great sense of community, and we have the best of both worlds being nearby to London yet able to enjoy the Kent countryside. The whole process of using Help to Buy was so smooth, and the customer service from Barratt was wonderful. I would strongly encourage first time buyers to use Help to Buy while you still can, as it has helped to make our dreams of homeownership become a reality.”
Dartford is set in north-west Kent, offering a revived town with a range of bars, restaurants and shops. The town itself boosts amenities like the traditional Dartford Farmers’ Market with fresh produce from the local Kentish fields and orchards. Phoenix Quarter is also in the catchment area for many of the leading schools in the area, including Dartford Grammar School. For those looking to enjoy the outdoors, a free Kent Wildlife Trust family membership is offered to all purchasers at Phoenix Quarter.
Dartford Station is just under a mile away, providing trains to Victoria, Cannon Street and Charing Cross via London Bridge in less than 45 minutes. Ebbsfleet International Station, which connects residents with central London in 17 minutes and Paris in two hours, is less than six miles away and also on the Fastrack bus route, which offers a bus stop five minutes from the development. The A2, M25, M2 and M20 are all easily accessible, putting Bluewater Shopping Centre, London City Airport, Gatwick Airport and The 02 Arena all within easy reach.
Currently on offer at Phoenix Quarter is a last chance to buy opportunity, with a selection of two- and three-bedroom homes on offer. Prices start at £279,995, and with Help to Buy, this can be secured with a deposit of just under £14,000. Buyers interested in finding out more about Help to Buy or the homes at Phoenix Quarter should contact 0844 4700 565 or visit www.barratthomes.co.uk